- Beauty & Style
- Dishin’ Up Dixie
I thank God for the book, Woodlawn by Todd Gerelds. Not only do we read about how lives were changed and relationships were healed during the racially tense days that were the 1970’s, but in this book the rest of the world can see the strides that were taken by one southern gentleman to change the dogma that could have crippled the South. Just as the title reads, there was one hope, one dream and one way for a high school in Birmingham, Alabama to set the stage for integration.
Todd Gerelds, the author of Woodlawn, lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Jennifer Morgan Geralds and their four daughters Morgan, Bailey Kay or “BK”, Alli and Maggie Leigh. He is the son of legendary high school coach, Tandy Gerelds and grew up learning about life through football stories, football practices and games. He was kind enough to share a few thoughts with me about his life, the movie, the book, and life in the South.
In addition to his four daughters, the Gereld’s family also includes a Maltese named Roo, a Tabby Cat named Hunter, an African Bullfrog named Chunk, a ball python named Bagel and 2 Gerbils that he couldn’t remember the names. Todd enjoys cooking, reading, cycling and exercise. He has been trained as a storm spotter and is very interested in weather and storms.
When I asked him to share what he loves about the south, he had this to say,
I love the people because they are generally very hospitable and neighbors seem to want to help each other. When I choose a southern destination, I’m torn between the Panhandle, Destin/30-A area, and the mountains of East TN and Western NC. I also love the city of Nashville.
I am a big fan of Auburn University and their sports teams.
Speaking of sports teams, I asked Todd, “Can you describe the South’s love of sports and how it is incorporated into our family life?”
I think many southern people have traditionally had fewer entertainment and sports options. Many southern cities don’t have professional sports teams, nor access to many of the vast array of cultural/entertainment options some of the larger metropolitan areas have. Traditionally, we have developed an allegiance to our local college teams. Families have often utilized college sporting events as family get-togethers. As a result, the bond with these teams grows incredibly strong over the passing generations. It truly becomes a part of the family. We tend to incorporate sports and eating in an amazing way. I believe the south has revolutionized the concept of tailgating.
Speaking of tailgating, what is your favorite southern meal?
I love fried chicken, creamed corn, pinto beans, and any kind of greens.
What southern saying do you hear yourself saying that your parents used to say?
Running around like a chicken with my head cut off!
Do you have a favorite southern author/book?
I am a big fan of Andy Andrews, and really love his book, “The Noticer.”
In Woodlawn, the testimony of your father’s conversion is very powerful. Would you like to share anything about your personal walk of faith?
Fall in love with Tieler James. Fashion is his life, period. Tieler discovered his passion for clothing at the age of 5 and began working with a sewing machine at age 7. In 2014, at just 14-years-old, he was chosen to compete on Lifetime’s Project Runway: Threads. Tieler won and has gone on to be the featured designer in many local and regional fashion shows.
Now, at just 15-years-old, Tieler is a busy young designer. He is often commissioned to design garments, speaks at design schools and is also a full time student at the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts. He is studying a standard academic curriculum along with theater design. Tieler maintains a high grade point average while designing costumes for the theater after school, working on his own collections and making media appearances.
Fall in Love with Tieler James
I fell in love with Tieler James at Heart for Dixie. #heartfordixie #fashion #tielerjames Click To Tweet
Enjoy these genius designs from fashion shows across the south.
Award Winning Artist, Bill Thompson
At an early age William Thompson had a strong interest in nature and design and loved to draw and paint. He attended the University of Alabama and in 1970 received a degree in Engineering and a minor in Art. After a very successful career in aerospace which included design of both aircraft and interplanetary spacecraft he moved on to pursue his artistic passion.
Ye Olde College Inn: New Orleans, LA
“The south has a smile! It’s not just a location, it’s a state of mind. We shake a man’s hand and kiss a lady hello!” (Even if they’re drippin in gravy!) ~ Johnny Blancher
Johnny Blancher, CEO and chef of Ye Old College Inn in New Orleans, LA knows a little bit about southern cooking. Just as importantly, he knows the best way to serve creole cuisine. He grew up in the restaurant business. His father has owned the ever popular, Rock ‘n’ Bowl on South Carrollton since the early 90’s. In 2003, his family purchased the College Inn property and continued a long tradition of old and new menus that date back to the end of prohibition.
Formerly owned by the Rufin brothers, Emile, Denis Jr. and Albert, Ye Olde College Inn originally operated as a drive-in, beginning as far back as 1933. It has stood the test of time and has remained a landmark for over 80 years now. Lots of memories were made in the “oyster shell parking lot during the car-hop days where romances were kindled behind foggy windows” of cars. Johnny shared this memory with me,